He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

March 30, 2011

The Caffeine Tango & The Distraction Limbo

I'm gradually weaning myself off of caffeine as part of Project Oven Repair. I managed to get myself down to two cups of coffee (from my usual three to five); then this week I started cutting my regular coffee with decaf to make half-caf. The only problem with that is that I keep saying to myself, "It's only half-caf, so go ahead and have another cup. Yay coffee!"

So I'm back up three or four cups a day. But it IS half-caf, so it's only the equivalent of 1 or 2 regular cups, right? Right.

New plan: forget about cutting back on number of cups I drink, and just keep gradually increasing the decaf:regular ratio until I'm drinking all decaf, all the time. Yay coffee!

I'm also at that fun, fun place where the ADD supplements I quit taking at the beginning of P.O.R. have completely exited my system, and the massive amounts of fish oil I've been taking haven't built up enough yet to make a difference (according to the research, that takes about four weeks). Which means my unfettered neurons are partying it up while they can, and getting them to chill out long enough to let me focus on getting things done is, to say the least, a challenge.

Exercise is helping. So is allowing myself a few minutes of managed distraction every thirty minutes or so. But the biggest thing is that I'm practicing just taking each day moment by moment, devoting as much of my time as possible to projects that energize me and hold my interest, and just doing what I can and not stressing out at the end of the day about what didn't get done.

In other words, I'm trying to just go with the flow.

This is definitely a less stressful way to go, and I think it's more natural to my personality. The only problem is that this "taking things as they come" approach tends to attract labels like "slacker," "underachiever," and "lacks ambition." Or at least it did during my schoolin' days, and parents and teachers alike did everything they could to punish the "flow" out of me and turn me into an action-taking, To Do list keeping go-getter.

I don't know that they actually succeeded in that so much as they just gave me a guilt complex whenever I try to toss aside the To Do list and take a more zen-like approach to life. And all of the Internet Entrepreneurial advice I've been reading the last few months hasn't helped with that. But then I read a post like this one from Erica Douglass and realize that even the IE types are realizing they need to chill out a little.

At any rate, chilling out is definitely the right thing for me for right now. Otherwise all I'd be doing is making myself miserable trying to fight my wiring and beating myself up about what's NOT checked off of the dreaded To Do list, not even seeing all of the check marks that are there.

And trying to stay relaxed and manage my stress and overwhelmed-ness is all part of Project Oven Repair. Besides, it's not like I don't have enough external stressors in my life without creating internal ones for myself.

So there's all of that, and the obligatory breathing exercises, and getting enough sleep, and of course, the diet. Overall, I think it's working. I'm even sleeping better, and waking up actually feeling like I got sleep instead of like I ran a horror-filled marathon in my dreams all night.

And now it's time to psych myself up to go work out in the cold. Boo cold and rainy weather. Boo.

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